Plain and simple, it’s becoming more and more expensive to bury a loved one. It should come as no surprise to any family that has paid for a funeral service in recent years, the costs have risen. This has made it increasingly difficult for families to give their loved one a meaningful and dignified goodbye.
Rising funeral costs, as well as a number of other factors have all contributed to the rising popularity of cremation. According to the National Funeral Directors Association, cremation rates have exceeded burial rates in both 2015, and 2016. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has also recently published a report showing the price index of funeral services has risen at nearly double the pace of all other commodities.
Between 1986 and 2016, the price index of funeral services has inflated by 230% compared to 95.1 for all other commodities on average.
Although the numbers are staggering, many consumers have found ways to save costs and still give their loved one a beautiful funeral service. If you want to give your love one a “great funeral” you don’t need to go and break the bank. Remember, just because something is expensive, doesn’t mean it’s necessarily better.
If you’re interested in cutting funeral costs and planning an affordable funeral service, here are seven ways to save costs.
If you are not planning to have visitation for your loved one, there is no need to pay for embalming. While some funeral homes may have specific policies surrounding embalming, many will waive the charge if you specify that you do not want to hold a visitation.
Just because the funeral home presents you with different packages that include all the bells and whistles, you do not need to oblige. The Federal Trade Commission has mandated that all funeral homes provide their customers with a general price list when asked. Rather than select a package that includes frills like limousine service, large floral displays, and video services; select the options you actually need. Most funeral homes will be happy to work with you and tailor a service that meets your family’s needs and budget.
A lot of families are now electing to forego a funeral service all together and instead opt for a direct cremation or burial service. This affordable funeral option allows families a simple and cost effective way to care for their loved ones remains. After the deceased has been cared for, the family will organize their own celebration of life or memorial service for friends and family to gather and celebrate a life well lived.
Crowdfunding has become a very popular and effective way to raise funds and help cover expenses. A Helping Hand is the funeral industry’s first program to partner with GoFundMe and deliver a crowdfunding service exclusively for funeral homes and the families they serve. This program works directly with the funeral home to help cover final expenses for your loved one. If there are any additional funds remaining, they can be used to donate to a worthy charity, establish a scholarship fund, or help a surviving family member in need.
Although many people do not like to think about death and preparing for the future, preplanning a funeral can actually be quite cost effective. Having the talk of a lifetime, allows family members to discuss their end of life wishes and how they want to be remember. These conversations are important because they allow you to begin thinking about planning a funeral service. If you want to ensure you receive a memorable funeral that doesn’t bring a large upfront cost, many funeral homes will allow you pay in installments and make smaller payments over a period of time. All while ensuring that your end of life plans are prepared and the service will be meaningful.
While there are some parts of the funeral service that you inevitably have to pay for, there are plenty of things you can do yourself. Planning ahead with family and friends allows you to DIY some aspects of the service. Some of the different ways you could DIY your funeral service includes:
> Have crafty friends create decoration
> If your friend are great cooks, have them cater the service
> If the service is not going to be religious, have a friend serve as the officiant
When a death occurs unexpectedly, there is a sense of urgency to plan a service quickly. Rather than simply going with the first funeral home you find, take some time to look around. A funeral is a major purchase similar to a car. Remember that it’s important to look around and find a funeral home that meets your budget and provides you with the services you actually want and need.
If you are interested in planning an affordable funeral service, make sure to take advantage of the planning tools section found within ObitTree’s website. Here you will find a selection of helpful planning articles, a quote builder tool and an interactive form to begin prearranging a funeral service in minutes.
Do you have any ideas to cut down funeral expenses? Let us know in the comments section below!
ObitTree.com is the obituary engine of the National Obituary Registry and a hub for all things death care.View all posts by ObitTree